Review and photos by Jacob Black

2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Click image to enlarge

There aren’t many cars receiving unfettered adoration the way Ford’s 2014 Fiesta ST is. So when Ford brought rally/autocross/doriffftttooo/hooning legend Ken Block to Toronto I knew I had to get out and check out the action. First, because I wanted to apply the Public Enemy test to the ST and see if the hype is appropriate; second, because skids.

What I got was a demonstration in sensational car control from within the cabin of Ken Block’s own “Fiesta”, plus a taste of the sort of fun you can have in a Ford Fiesta ST in real life. Hint: It’s a lot.

In the animal kingdom, vibrant citrus colours are how cute little fellas show the world that they are actually poisonous and that you shouldn’t eat them.

2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Click image to enlarge

In Ford land, vibrant citrus colours are how you know it’s party time. The Fiestas on display at this event were lime green, Sunkist orange and blue. Blue is the conservative of the three, and looks a little bit rubbish. Blue says, “Hmmm, I’d like to be more fun, but this is really outside my comfort zone so I’ll just be blue.” The blue Fiesta ST is the runt of the litter.

The interior comes in two modes – subtle, or subtle like a sledgehammer. In the first mode, there is some nice “ST” lettering  on the seat and the base of the steering wheel, plus the obligatory metal racing pedals, but other than that, you could be forgiven for thinking this ST is a standard hatchback. There are light grey inserts in the leather seats and the seats are heavily bolstered, but there are no bright colours in the driver’s eyeline and the dash is quite conservative. The numbers on the gear lever are Day-Glo orange, which adds a very gentle and alluring hint of excitement.

In sledgehammer mode, you’d best not open the door anywhere near a bee hive. The light-grey inserts in the seats become bright orange assaults on your eyeballs – guaranteed to attract bees, ravers and commercial airline pilots. The interior goes from subtle and welcoming to “hey get over here and have this shot!” I like them both.

2014 Ford Fiesta ST2014 Ford Fiesta ST2014 Ford Fiesta ST2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Click image to enlarge

On the exterior a rear deck spoiler and diffuser makes sure the people you pass don’t feel too bad, while the wide-mouth Ford grill lets the people you’re about to pass know you’re coming. It’s a very pretty package.

2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Click image to enlarge

The ST sits 15 mm lower than the standard model and rides on a beefed up rear axle with added roll-stiffness. A twist-beam rear, MacPherson-strut front doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this set up has been tuned up beautifully. Four-wheel disc brakes pull the 1,234 kg rig to a rapid halt.

Punting the Fiesta around a mini-slalom course was excellent fun. With the traction control off, the car torque steers and grips up at launch – it  peels sideways as you snatch through second gear with opposite lock cranked on.  197 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque are available, but not until 6,000 rpm and 4,500 rpm respectively – the engine sounds crisp, sharp and engaging all the way through the band, so nobody will feel terrible about using all 6,000 revs. The clutch pedal is sharp, the bite-point obvious and the gearbox is slick – not “TSX-slick” but slick nonetheless. The throw is a good distance and the gates are easy to find. The action itself lacks that last percentage of crispness – but you’d have to be a pretty epic whingebag to find any real fault with it.

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